Have you been wanting to come see the Ranch and connect with us? Below are some great opportunities to visit and bring some friends with you!
The longer you’re involved with Christian Encounter, the more you see the lasting results of the Ranch ministry: lives changed and hope restored. Student stories fill our minds and impact our hearts, and each one affirms that what happens here yields eternal and incalculable benefits.
Now it’s time to reinvest in how we do this great work. Over the past year we’ve been gearing up for a significant push to overhaul the CEM property and facilities. Our goals include lowering overheads, displaying exceptional stewardship, and of course enhancing the experience of every young person who comes on property.
...we’ve broken down a number of the projects in the Master Plan that we’re currently working toward. This is a time of important and strategic investment--and it’s fun, too! It’s fun to see the small army of volunteers and donors that have already come together to accomplish big jobs. It’s also fun to anticipate the ways these projects can benefit the Ranch many years into the future.
Each project takes multiple pieces coming together, including planning, finances, and manpower. Our prayer is God would put the puzzle together in the way He knows will best accomplish His plans for the CEM community.
Nate Boyd, Executive Director
Will you consider joining this endeavor?
With the waning of one passion came the resurfacing of another – discipleship. This passion had developed in Jensen during his high school years when spiritual mentorship had played a key role in his life after his parents’ divorce. Jensen naturally transitioned into the role of Resident Director at PHC for three years and two more years at William Jessup University after he returned to the west coast. Upon leaving WJU, Jensen landed what he refers to as his “dream job” as a young adults’ pastor at his home church in Morgan Hill. At the same time, Jensen was completing his master’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies at Western Seminary. Jensen felt that he had found his life’s calling and was preparing for the long haul when, after three years, he was encouraged to look for work elsewhere due to differing church staffing needs. Around that time, Jensen received the invitation to join the staff team at CEM.
Though Jensen would have never thought to seek out this position, when he glanced at the job description, he realized that through all of his experiences, God had been preparing him for this role all along.
In 1971, the vision of Christian Encounter Ministries burst forth from the Ranch near Grass Valley. Paul and Anita Cecil established the first residence here while Tom and Barbara Salter were in seminary in Lincoln, IL. The Salters volunteered with the college group at Springfield’s Westside Christian Church and shared with Tom Kern that vision of a ministry set apart for reaching the very, very lost, for widening the reach of the local church, and for training workers for Christ’s great harvest in the 1970’s. More than a dozen young men and women from that church would heed the call and be sent to serve at CEM.
During that decade, Tom Kern completed a Social Welfare degree at the University of Illinois, anticipating a call to ministry. The first call was to youth ministry while he pursued additional study at Lincoln Christian Seminary. He then embarked on further extreme training for CEM when he traveled to Liberia, West Africa, to teach history and Bible at Liberia Christian College. Following service in Liberia, Tom taught in a continuation school in Illinois. In 1977, he considered a career social work position with the State of Illinois. The offer was delayed. Tom was not. An internship opportunity at CEM became available, so in January of 1978 he headed west to Grass Valley to serve.
As an intern, Tom was privileged to work with Bob Van Schyndel, Bill Williamson, and Bob Slayden in developing the facilities and animal care programs of CEM. These responsibilities became centerpieces of Tom’s service at the Ranch. His attitudes toward work, his servant’s heart, and his ability to impart these qualities to the younger Christian students and interns distinguished him throughout these four decades.
About 23 years ago, John and Gigi Cox sat in the CEM Director’s office discussing the opportunity to join the staff of the ministry. John and I reminisced about our growing up years in Humboldt County. We attended sister churches in Arcata and Eureka, played in the same church basketball league, attended Humboldt State, and shared friendships and fellowship with many other Christians in the community. Later, as a young married couple, John and Gigi visited CEM and expressed their interest in serving here. We remained in contact and by the mid-90s, John had become a licensed contractor and was in the midst of a Marriage and Family Therapist Master’s program. When the door to serve at CEM finally opened, we talked about the practical difficulties of changing careers and moving with three young boys into a very small two-bedroom cabin. I asked Gigi about this, and she leaned across the table and proclaimed confidently, “This is an adventure from God!” And so it was!
Chairman, CEM Board of Directors
While we, the Board, prepared for Chuck and Barbara’s venture off into the anticipated future of retirement, we spent much time, corporately and individually, prayerfully seeking God’s desire for the anticipated future of CEM’s leadership. We have taken into consideration both near-term and long-term ministry needs. We have attempted to be good stewards of the resources and opportunities which God has provided. With those considerations, it seemed prudent to us to ask Nate Boyd (pictured) to step into the Executive Director’s position for the near term. Please join us in congratulating Nate on this new venture of trust and pray for him in this new role.
Please join us in the CEM Dining Room for a dessert reception
hosted by the CEM Board of Directors
as we celebrate Chuck and Barbara's retirement.
Sunday, October 15 @ 3pm
17183 Retrac Way
Grass Valley, CA
You are invited to bring a card for the Boatman's and a dessert to share!
Questions: Call the CEM office @ 530.268.0877
The following article appeared in CEM's October 2017 Newsletter:
A Timely Farewell
BY: Chuck Boatman
CEM Executive Director, 2016-2017
God gave us seasons in the natural world. As we all discover at some point— usually as we get older—there are seasons to our lives, as well. Youth is sometimes described as springtime, summer as early adulthood, autumn as our later adult years, and winter as those years when the end of our earthly lives becomes ever more imminent. With more than eight decades of life behind me, I can’t deny that “winter” is coming
Seven years after his completion of the CEM program, Sean Thompson returned to CEM with his wife, Cherise, and son, Charlie, to receive the Alumni Award.
During our Spring Celebration and Graduation, Sean shared the following:
“Seven years. One engagement. One marriage. One apartment. One duplex. One home. Eleven jobs. Eighteen cars. Two cats. One dog. One baby. One family...I’ve had one God this whole time. The same God who found me contemplating suicide in my room in the dark is the same God who helped me through the Ranch, the same God who helped me through community college, the same God who helped me through my marriage. It’s just crazy to think that this same God is there for each moment. He is so much bigger and can do so much more than we give Him credit for.”
Sam Walker is the 2017 recipient of CEM's Outstanding Service Award.
A retired rocket scientist at Lockheed Martin, Sam volunteered his time in the school this past year teaching math, science, and government.
Of his time spent with our students, Sam says, “The impact has been quite personal. To say I bonded with some of the students seems like an understatement as they’ve become part of not just my life, but [my wife’s] too. It’s said, ‘If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.’ I must be doing something right.”
Thank you Sam for your outstanding service to CEM and loving our students!